Three local military veterans addressed American Legion and Cavalier community members in commemoration of Veterans Day on Friday, Nov. 11, at the Cavalier American Legion. Richard Elke, Wayne Puppe, and Joey Busse speaking for his dad, Francis Busse, shared their experiences from a recent Honor Flight to Washington, D.C. 170 veterans, escorts and volunteers boarded the Veterans Honor Flight chartered plane to Washington on Sept. 11, 2022, on a three-day trip of a lifetime. 23 of the veterans served in Korea, and 89 in the Vietnam War or the Vietnam era. They were transported by four tour buses around our nation’s capital to visit many historic landmarks, including Arlington National Cemetery.
Elke, Puppe and Busse shared personal reflections on the send-off, the honor and gratitude shown them by Honor Flight volunteers, details about the memorials and their reception upon return to the Grand Forks airport. They also thanked local organizations for support of the flights and encouraged other veterans to apply. Their presentation included pictures and videos from the trip. Puppe read a moving tribute about the ‘Missing Soldier Table’ that reminds viewers of those fallen, missing, or imprisoned U.S. military servicemembers. American Legion Auxiliary members provided coffee and bars for a time of fellowship following the presentation.
Over 245,000 veterans have participated in an Honor Flight since its inception in 2005. Anyone who has served in the military before May 7, 1975 - including in the National Guard - is eligible. For more information, visit www.veteranhonorflightofndmn.org or call (218) 28H-ONOR.